WIPO Releases Software to Simplify Patent Applications

Geneva, January 6, 1999
Press Releases PR/1999/150

As from January 1, 1999, it is possible for users of the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) system to prepare the request part of their international applications electronically by using a software entitled PCT-EASY (Electronic Application SYstem). The request part of the application is some five pages containing, among other things, relevant information on the applicant. This is an important first step in eventually establishing a fully electronic application system that would facilitate the processing and transfer of data relating to all aspects of international applications filed under the Treaty.

The PCT makes it possible to seek patent protection for an invention simultaneously in each of about 100 countries by filing one international application. Any person who is a national or resident of a PCT Contracting State is entitled to file an application. The applicant can designate those PCT Contracting States where protection is sought. This has the same effect as filing for a national or regional patent in each of those Contracting States.

Until December 31, 1997, all international applications filed under the PCT had to be submitted in paper form. The availability and use of the new PCT-EASY software will now benefit users by facilitating international filing procedures. Its future development will result in further significant efficiency gains in the use of human and material resources.

The PCT-EASY software offers advantages to users. First, the total amount of the international fee is reduced by 200 Swiss francs if certain technical conditions are met. Second, it contains user-friendly validation functions which check and confirm that data entered in the request comply with formal PCT applications requirements. Third, it offers users the possibility of storing and retrieving frequently used data contained in the request. Fourth, registration for use of the PCT-EASY software is simple and free-of-charge.

This first general release version of the PCT-EASY software is compatible with Windows 95/98 and NT. It may be downloaded from the PCT-EASY web-site: http://pcteasy.wipo.int/ or obtained from WIPO in CD-ROM or diskette formats. This product currently exists in English, French, German and Spanish and will soon be available in Chinese, Japanese and Russian, constituting all of the official PCT publication languages.

Further details on the use and application of this software in preparing and processing international applications are available on-line at http://pcteasy.wipo.int. This web-site has been set up to keep users informed of any important PCT-EASY developments. Further information on the conditions of use of the PCT-EASY software and how to qualify for the 200 Swiss francs fee reduction may be obtained from the PCT-EASY Help Desk:

Telephone: (00 41 22) 338 95 23
Fax (00 41 22) 338 80 40
E-mail: pcteasy.help@wipo.int